Rafael Nadal has long established himself as the king of clay, but on Sunday, he proved, once more, just how phenomenal he is by defeating Casper Rudd in straight sets. The win earned him his 14th French Open title and 22nd Grand Slam title, putting him two titles ahead of Roger Federer and world number one, Novak Djokovic.
Nadal has appeared at the French Open final 14 times in his career, and he has gone home with the title each time. This is also his second Grand Slam title of the year, as he was the winner of the Australian Open.
Nadal entered the final just two days after defeating Alexander Zverev in a game that finished not how everyone expected, as Zverev had to leave the court in a wheelchair after a problem with his ankle. Nadal also defeated Djokovic in a four-hour game on Tuesday, taking revenge for when Djokovic defeated him in the semifinals of the French Open last year.
On Sunday, Nadal did not seem to have much trouble as he defeated Rudd, who was playing in his first Grand Slam final, 6-3 6-3 6-0. Nadal capitalised heavily on his opponent’s errors as the other man seemed to be playing into Nadal’s hand most of the time. Rudd, a student of Nadal, had said says before that facing Nadal would be his “greatest challenge.” But even though he lost, Rudd would rise to world number six this week.
By winning the title on Sunday, just two days after his 36th birthday, Nadal has now become the oldest man to win the French Open title. And from the looks of things, this might not be his last as Nadal has formed the habit of winning French Open titles more than two years in a row.
A day earlier, world number one, Iga Swiatek won the French Open women’s singles title after defeating teenager Coco Gauff 6-1 6-3. Swiatek, who now has two French Open titles, has now won 9 finals in a row as she maintains a winning streak of over 30 matches.
Written by: Leon Osamor